MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun – Tara Jones

A game that my apartment has been playing a lot of is the game codenames. In this game, you work in team where one play picks a clue for the other players to figure out the correct words on a 5×5 grid.

There are two mechanics that I think add to the fun dynamics of this game. The first one is that the clue giver can only say one word at a time. This forces the player to be creative, and interact with the idea of a clue in a new way. For example, the clue giver might give the clue “toe” and be referencing the word “foot” and the word “truck.” Players can use phonetic clues in their vocabulary to create dual meaning clues.

Another mechanic that creates an exciting dynamic is that after the guesser guesses their distinguished number of guesses (for example, the guess 2 correct cards after the clue giver said “toe 2”) they have one more extra guess. This forces a dynamic where guessers have to remember past clues and clue givers have to constantly be thinking of ways to link past ideas into the current state of the game.

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